Francois Hollande piles pressure on Greek PM Samaras

 

Francois Hollande: "Greece must demonstrate once again that its actions are credible"

French President Francois Hollande has urged Greece to prove it can pass reforms demanded by international creditors, after talks with Greek leader Antonis Samaras.

Mr Samaras has been appealing for more time to introduce the reforms.

But Mr Hollande said no further decision could be taken until European ministers consider a major report on Greece's finances, due in September.

Donors including the EU insist Greece has to make major spending cuts.

These are needed if Greece is to secure the next tranche of its bailout.

The BBC's Mark Lowen in Athens says the Greek government is under pressure to win concessions from Europe to placate the tired nation and lessen the likelihood of a destabilising period of social unrest.

Mr Samaras is seeking an extension of up to two years for the necessary reforms, in order to provide Greece with the growth needed to improve its public finances.

In talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week, he was told that the decision would depend on a report from the so-called troika - the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission.

Mr Hollande also said Europe needed to consider the report before it could make any further decisions on Greece.

He said decisions on whether to grant Greece more time should be taken when European finance ministers meet in early October.

Greece discussions timetable

  • 22 August: Greek PM Antonis Samaras met Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker
  • 23 August: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande met to discuss Greece
  • 24 August: Chancellor Merkel and PM Samaras meet
  • 25 August: President Hollande and PM Samaras meet
  • Early September: Troika staff go back to Greece
  • 14-15 September: Gathering of European finance ministers in Cyprus
  • Troika's review of progress to be published by the end of September
  • 8-9 October: Finance ministers attend two days of meetings in Luxembourg

"We've been facing this question for two and a half years, there's no time to lose, there are commitments to reaffirm on both sides, decisions to take, and the sooner the better," he said.

Greece's continued access to the bailout packages depends on a favourable report from the troika.

Athens is trying to finalise a package of 11.5bn euros ($14.4bn; £9.1bn) of spending cuts over the next two years.

It is also being asked to put in place economic and structural reforms, including changes to the labour market and a renewed privatisation drive.

The measures are needed to qualify for the next 33.5bn-euro instalment of its second 130bn-euro bailout.

Greece needs the funds to make repayments on its debt burden. A default could result in the country leaving the euro.

 

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 511.

    Samaras stands before a herculean task. Greece is sick to the core. The only cure is to start all over again. Start with the judicial system which is corrupt, partial and over complicated. Then sort out tax collection. An estimate is that over 600 Billion USD of Greek money is hidden away in tax havens. That is twice what Greece is in debt for! The economy will fix itself if you let people at it.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 510.

    Greece must demonstrate once again that its actions are credible.

    Once again M.Hollande ? Remind me of the first time, because I missed it.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 509.

    507. ExpatKS
    A simple trade agreement is all that's required then UK can get back its democratic sovereign powers from the unelected Commisioners
    +++
    Bit like our unelected Head of State.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 508.

    The Greeks must start saving .
    No more loans for Greece unless they start cutting their government spendings and gathering taxes honestly

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 507.

    Trade is global now and UK can trade with anyone. There is just no need for the bureacratic, inefficient, corrupt (no accounts ever signed off), money leaching, tentacled monster that is the EU.

    A simple trade agreement is all that's required then UK can get back its democratic sovereign powers from the unelected Commisioners

    Greece has no choice but to leave, then who's next?


    .

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 506.

    Alex Salmon used to talk of joining the Eurozone and if he managed to break away from the UK Scotland could have ended up in the same pickle as Ireland. On the other hand Scotland could also have ended up like Finland, Sweden or Denmark - all Eurozone countries which have far less debt than the UK. The scaremongering tragically continues.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 505.

    504. CommanderMethos

    what i belive the eu needs most at this time is a single strong leader. not the failure of a collective that the council of the european union is. what it needs is a president.
    +++
    M. Hollande would be perfect.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 504.

    what i belive the eu needs most at this time is a single strong leader. not the failure of a collective that the council of the european union is. what it needs is a president.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 503.

    The political elite who lead France and Germany need to accept the blame and carry the cost of setting up such a stupid idea and then compounding it by agreeing to Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal joining it. They can't wash their hands of their own folly. They have to pay.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 502.

    One cannot be too forgiving, it is no good, the forgiven one gets used to it and never pulls up his weight.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 501.

    Frau Merkel explained to Hollande the day before that he was not to start improvising again. Is it not strange that he has done sweet nothing to reduce public expenditure in France? He has a great affection for the sound of his own voice and nebulous metaphors: "Greeks you must be credible! The Greeks have my compassion."
    Cheap words!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 500.

    All my friends in the US find it hard to believe when I talk of the Euro having a future. For them it's already dead. The fact is, I try to explain, that the EU is fighting a war of ideology. Who controls the budgets - States or Federal?

  • Comment number 499.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 498.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 497.

    If the success of EU was measured by the economic performance and the currency then the politician are bankrupted in ideas as they failed to define and foresee the relationship in between the member states. Germany and France if they wish to lead they must firstly acknowledge that they were the protagonist of drift and indecision.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 496.

    The number of civil servants is phenomenal for the size of the population. How many have been sacked? 0
    How many Athenians have had to pay all back swimming pool taxes plus fines? 0
    How many state assets used to provide sinecures to government friends have been privatised? 0
    The ordinary people of Greece may be suffering, but those close to the political parties are still being pampered.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 495.

    For years everyone seemed to buy that austerity was the way out of recession. Now we're not so sure apparently , and "cuts" is no longer automatically accepted as a cypher for "unpleasant but surely neccessary." Except that the Eurozone is forcing them them with ever increasing vigour on the Greeks. Why?

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 494.

    This is the same France that wants to lower working hours, increase holidays and make retirement at 12 mandatory? Well how long before France is in the doghouse too - oh yes, they already are but not as bad as Greece.
    PS quit harping on about Germany, they will survive with or with the Euro. The UK on the other hand is in a mess and didn't even join (as usual)

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 493.

    #492
    Way forward - and break free of US rule?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 492.

    The Euro cannot survive. Simple maths my 3 year old could understand.
    Indisputable.
    The question then is: Why are these lies still being peddled?
    Why are lies ever peddled?
    Somebody is playing a different game on the back of this.
    Who will it be?
    I don't know, but I guarantee it's psychopaths who cares nothing at all for any human beings but themselves.
    What would you like to do about it?

 

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